One Trip Around the Sun

Took another trip around the sun. By that I mean I had another birthday and I’m another year older. However, maybe I’ll look at it as though I have gathered another year of wisdom, but I do have so very much more to learn.

But what did another year teach me? What happened? I was born May 27, 1981…for those doing the math, I’m 37. Age has never been something that bothered me, it was something that actually excites me. Now rewind with me to right before I turned 35…at the beginning of the month I had visions of a fun birthday party happening, probably in lakes country and all my friends would be there, it was 35, surely that’s a milestone celebration birthday, right?

The couple weeks leading up, there seemed to be a lot of things happening that were more negative and I really hadn’t planned much and it’s for the best I didn’t. Grandma passed three days before I was to turn 35, she had lived to be 91, what an amazing life, but no matter the age it’s always hard to lose a loved one. Had this sinking feeling, somehow, the funeral would more than likely land on my birthday, which my father asked if I’d be okay with and of course I was, it was a celebration of her life that takes all precedent over anything!

It was a day of prayers, stories, laughter and many tears.

Later that day my best of friends showed up to show their support and most of all their love. For that I’ll never be able to tell them what that meant or say thank you enough. They helped to make the best of such a day.

There are those that will be able to relate, after something like that, days like that are never ever really the same, at least not right away. There’s a different memory, one that can still bring a tear to your eye. That was last year, my birthday came and quite honestly I just wanted it to pass. God Bless my friends again making sure I celebrated even if my heart wasn’t completely in it.

Moving on to this year, I didn’t know what I wanted. The week started out like any other week, but I knew the day was coming and I really did not know how to feel, what to feel yet. A few had asked about the day, and one good friend I had even confined in, to explain why I wasn’t really even feeling it and they got it, they had gone through something similar before.

So the week drug on and I knew the long Memorial Day weekend was coming and I still really hadn’t planned a thing. Then came Thursday and I had my usual happy hour at Twist for work. Two of my best guy friends showed up and they started the kickoff of a birthday weekend, probably not realizing they were helping to turn things around.

That was followed by Friday with the companies new summer grill out and my co-workers surprised me with a cake that not only made me laugh so hard it moved me even a little more towards feeling excited for my birthday again. The cake which was a little, or a lot inappropriate, was the only thing I would expect to get from the two who picked it out and had the saying wrote on it!

The weekend continued to just keep getting better and better. My little brother showed up and I got to spend some good quality time with him having dinner, taking a walk downtown for ice cream and good brother sister bonding time.

Then follow that up with Saturday spending more time with friends in the sun with a birthday cookie cake, happy birthday being sung and feeling even more love.

The day of my birthday I was with one of my best friends who made sure there was coffee,, lilacs, food, drinks and dancing! Along with my other best girlfriend checking in to make sure I was okay and sending her best, knowing only two short years before what had been.

The day of my birthday I felt so much love, from family, friends, listeners and even strangers…my heart was bursting with gratitude and so much thanks it was humbling.

Monday continued to be eventful and was like an extension of my birthday as I spent more time with friends on the lake and just soaked up not just the rays but the moment. Move to today where I got to see yet two more friends to do dinner and pedicures and really wrap up what feels like many days of a birthday celebration, I reflect back and think how very blessed and fortunate I am.

This year was different and reminded me how special birthdays can be and how very loved I am. From the very bottom of my heart I thank each and everyone of you who took a moment to wish me a happy birthday, to show me you cared and to make this girl feel incredibly special. It may not seem like much to say or write happy birthday or more than few seconds or minutes to send that wish, but the truth is to anyone it means everything.

I got wishes of hoping it’s my best year yet, but really looking at it, every year is my best because God blessed me with another one. So here’s to another birthday, to another year around the sun and I hope yours is just as special ❤️ ☀️

Advertisements

Remember the Memories

Can you do something for me? Right at this moment, think about your earliest memory. Where were you? How old were you? What were you doing?

Those are some big questions, but they’re important and I will explain more as I go, I promise!

For me, my first memory dates back to what would have been the start of 1983, I was close to two years old. My family had taken a road trip to California to visit family on my moms side. I actually don’t remember much of anything of the trip, I was way too young. But it’s amazing what the brain can remember.

A few years later, at the age of about ten I was having the same nightmare for about the umpteenth time. Honestly, I couldn’t tell how many times I had woken from this exact same nightmare screaming for my parents but it was a lot. Then Mom asked “Megan what is your dream about?” And I explained to her how we were as a family on what was like a water trolley and Frankenstein, or to be technical – Frankenstein’s monster was on there with us and he walks right up to me and PICKS ME UP and I cry and scream and am down right terrified in my dream. I didn’t expect what happened next to happen…

Mom is looking at me, when I finish telling her my dream, completely dumbfounded, almost in disbelief. That’s when she tells me, that’s not a dream, that is a memory, that actually happened.

Memories have a way of finding us when we least expect it at times and sometimes they are a surprise. But others we treasure them so close to our heart we pray we never forget the moment,

That’s the memory I want from this weekend. Rewind just a tish to Easter. I was back home for Easter and spending time with mom and dad and a couple other relatives when Mom goes to my dad, ” Oh ask Megan”! Which words like that can be either exciting or cringe worthy. This time they were good. Dad had bought tickets to the Ducks Unlimited banquet for the Mahnomen chapter and asked me to go with him since Mom was gone for work that weekend.

There was no hesitation in saying yes, because when the good Lord presents precious one on one time with either of your parents, you take it.

There had been a slight hesitation whether we would go, but come that Saturday, dad seemed pretty excited and I was too!

We got to the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen for the event and got checked in. We ran into some people and friends that we had not seen for awhile, made friends with the couple at our table and looked to see what was up for the silent and live auction.

It didn’t take me much time to notice that one of the items up for the live auction was a framed and matted picture of Stefon Diggs crossing into the end zone for the winning touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the playoffs. The touchdown will forever be known as the ” Minneapolis Miracle”. It’s a moment that any true Vikings fan will never forget. You’ll remember right where you were and who you were with at that moment. It was that special of a TD. It’ll go down in history as one of the best playoff finishes.

But I digress. So here was a picture of that moment and it was the only thing I wanted and I was determined to get it some how, some way. Fast forward to the part of the night with the Live Auction and where this particular picture was being auctioned off.

I remember right before the bidding began my dad had turned to me and said, “do you know where your number is at for this item”? I did. I had a set amount I was willing to spend. The bidding began and I began a bidding war with another girl. We went back and forth until we reached the amount I was willing to spend. I raised it one more time, going over my limit, but she was ready to go over that and that was it, my hopes of winning the print had been dashed. I looked around the room to see if anyone else was interested in bidding and I stopped listening. She had won it that’s all I knew.

Then something completely unexpected to me happened. The auctioneer was saying going once, going twice, sold…and then pointed in the direction of my table. At this point I was confused I had not bid again. The lady next to me goes, “oh you really didn’t see” as the picture is being walked to our table, “your father bid on it”. Yes, once again my father showed me how incredibly much he cares, he had WON me that print. I was about in tears and in disbelief.

After the weekend as I was driving home and thinking about what a weekend it had been I was thinking about memories. This particular weekend was definitely one that would go down in the books and made me ponder on how important memories are.

Memories versus things; memories should win every time. We so often these days forget to live in the moment and be with those surrounding us that we miss out on the moment, we miss out on the memory.

Think back to when you were younger. What do you remember? More often than not, you’re going to remember that moment that was special. That moment where your felt alive. A moment where someone made you feel loved. Those are the precious things we hold on to with not just remembrance but with our hearts.

Are you making memories? Not just with yourself but with your loved ones? Those are the things we should be making more of, rather than of complaints, disgust and hate.

We aren’t promised tomorrow, so while you can, make more memories with those that mean something in your life, with those you love. I can almost guarantee that it’s those times they’ll hold on to and that they’ll share in the end because it meant something to them and it was a time where they felt special and felt loved.

That moment with my dad was one of those moments. We’ve had quite a few memories/moments through my life and this was another one that I can always hold on to and I always will.

Cherish those you love – your family and friends, and make memories while you can. Promise you, you won’t regret it.

Crushing

Remember your first crush? I’m not talking about elementary cute little I like you, you like me lets hold hands crush, I’m talking about feeling something in the pit of your stomach flip up into your chest, while your heart skips a beat and you have to catch your breath type of crush. The butterflies type of crush.

I’ll never forget my first real crush. It was eighth grade year and somehow I had ended up in the high school study hall and as luck would have it, eight of the cutest Seniors that walked those hallways at that time were in it with me. Now keep in mind I went to a school where I graduated with a class of 38. It wasn’t a big school by any means, it was obviously small enough that a fluke, like me in high school study hall, wasn’t completely out of the ordinary. But still at that time to an eighth grade girl, it was a dream come true!

Anyway, I digress. Walking in to study hall that first day of school I knew my schedule was different than some of my friends because of the classes I was taking, so I was disappointed to learn none of them were going to be in study hall with me. That disappointment lasted about a nanosecond when I discovered my crush was in there.

According to the dictionary crush is defined as, ” a brief but intense infatuation for someone, especially someone unattainable or inappropriate.” also said to be called puppy love. I was in eighth grade and he was a Senior star athlete, most definitely unattainable but a crush none the less.

Remember how your crush made you feel? There was sometimes short of breath if they were around. Lack of speech happened or just stammering. Turning red easily. Your heart beating so swiftly you’re almost positive that it skipped a beat. Then there was that grin, who can forget that grin…that goofy one you got just thinking about your crush, the one you had if someone mentioned their name and the same one you had when they walked into a room, the same one you might have right now as you picture them in your mind just reading this.

First crushes, awwww, how innocent they really were, how innocent it can still be! Believe it or not as an adult you can still have a crush and it can still be one of the coolest feelings in the world. For a brief moment you believe again, you feel a sense of hope and it’s an euphoric high, that almost makes you feel like a teenager because there’s someone who makes you feel giddy again.

Recently I had that crush moment and the thoughts of my first came rushing back and for a little bit everything felt right. When you have a crush sometimes it doesn’t turn into anything other than that, a crush that just wasn’t attainable. Then there are other times where you find that you aren’t the only one crushing. Those are the times that someone finally makes the move and realizes that maybe there’s something more here and together you will have to find out.

Crushes can turn to like, then like to smitten and smitten can turn to love. Yet, know this, it doesn’t always work like that…however, you’ll never know unless you take the chance, you take the risk. Those are scary words and I know the clear thought is to think what if it doesn’t work? Then I ask you this, what if it turns into the greatest adventure of your life? Isn’t that worth it, to know that instead of saying “what if” you’ll always be able to know at least you tried and that my friends is really all we can do. Be careful with your heart, but don’t protect it so hard that you miss out on what could have been.

Make It A Happy One

What makes you happy? What makes you smile? Do that more often.

Have you ever heard a song or watched a TV show or perhaps a movie and you heard a line that just resonates with you. It speaks to you. That happened to me yesterday and believe it or not it was during the animated movie “Rock Dog”. I took a couple of my good friend’s daughters to the movie and the line that has been in my head since I heard it was so simple but true…”This is your life, make it a happy one.”

Let me say that again…

“This is your life make it a happy one.”

I ask you again, what makes you happy? We are surrounded by negativity, hate, separation, deception, sadness and more it seems every where we look. It’s easy to forget our happiness, it’s easy to be brought down.

I’ve been accused of being a little too optimistic at times, but that’s me. I see the good in people, I believe in the best and I trust things will turn out alright. That is just who I am, so I go looking for the good, because finding the good helps to make me happy. There are many things that help to make me happy and I intend to start doing them a little more, because it is my life and why shouldn’t it be happy.

Do you like to sing? Sing louder.

Do you like to read? Make time to read more.

Do you like to exercise? Then keep on doing it and make the time to make it happen, maybe switch up your routine and try something new!

Do you love your friends? Then show them, make time for them. 

Does your faith make you happy? Then share the word.

Do you love your family? Be with them more, tell them you love them.

Whatever good thing makes you happy, do more of it.

“This is your life, make it a happy one”, because why not? 

Do what makes you happy because it is your life, but don’t hate on others who are doing what makes them happy. We are all different, we all have different interests and we are each unique in our own way. Embrace that and enjoy what makes you happy, because you know what, we ALL deserve to be happy, yes including you. 

Here’s To New Adventures

I’ll never forget the day I graduated high school and reading the infamous Dr. Suess book “Oh The Places You Will Go”. It was a gift I had received back then and have often gone back to read during different times in my life when new adventures had presented themselves. Today I was reminded of the feelings that come with the start of a new adventure.

Imagine my surprise when I heard from one of my favorites at my favorite gym Anytime Fitness saying “We need to meet before Wednesday because I have news”. It just so happened I had just changed into my workout clothes right before she sent it so I said I was already on my way I’ll see you soon. Naturally, when you get a text like that all sort of things go through your mind. Keep in mind, however, for this particular situation, it could be a number of things for this person had become someone very special, like the little sister I never had and we shared a lot so it literally. could. be. anything. A sneaking suspicion though had me believe, she was off on a new adventure. Little did I know how right I was.

Let me take it even a step further to how I know little Miss Meghan of who I write about. She’s a spitfire of a woman who I met when she was a cheerleader for NDSU and was coached by another dear friend of mine. From the moment I met her I knew she had to be cool, I mean one, her name was Meghan and two, she had dark hair like me, so that had to be saying something, but it was her similar attitude and free spirit to mine that made our friendship instantaneous. From there I got to know her in other areas of our lives including with the latest when she came to work at Anytime Fitness and even more of a friendship blossomed.

Today Meghan let me know that she had a beyond exciting opportunity presented to her over the weekend and everything escalated quickly and she’s leaving THIS Wednesday already. Then I saw the emotions I remembered having the first time I ever left this area…excitement, nervousness and sadness all wrapped into one. It’s a GIANT step to move away from a place you know as home. It’s an even scarier step when it’s hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the ones you love dearly, your friends, your family, your everything.

But let me tell you this, the adventure you begin when you do step out on your own for the first time, is worth every obstacle that might come your way. Everything we do is for a reason, each path we take has it’s purpose. Had I not moved to Iowa at one point during my life, I wouldn’t be where I am right now, and frankly I love my life and where I am at right now, and I would not have made nearly half the friendships that I hold so dearly to this day, Meghan included.

Trust that the move you make is the right one for you even if it seems scary, because at the end of the day, you always have your loved ones when you need them and you can ALWAYS go back home. But go enjoy the adventure that awaits you while you can, because when  the best opportunity to move to Los Angeles, Hawaii, Reno, Nashville or wherever life may take you, presents itself, you take it without thinking twice and don’t look back, move forward.

This new adventure awaits you and may God bless you every step of the way. But know that “True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance but never in heart.”

Along the Way

T-minus 6 days until Eric Church plays his Holdin’ My Own Tour at the Ralph Englelstad Arena so I’ve labeled it “Eric Church Week” at work and the countdown is on. To say I’m excited might be an understatement for more than one reason but those are stories for another time. In true “Megan” concert prep form I’ve been listening to every Eric Church album to brush up on all of the songs again so I can sing along the best (and the loudest) I possibly can at the concert.

It’s always fun to go through all the ones we play on BOB 95 but it’s also fun to remind myself of the other great gems that were never released for air play. The one that has had me thinking all day long and has been played a couple extra times was “Those I’ve Loved”, off his 2009 Carolina album. If you haven’t heard it yet, I recommend listening to it at least once and I mean really take the moment to sit down and just listen. Don’t listen while being distracted, maybe even close your eyes and hear the words.

I was distracted the first time it started to play so I started it from the beginning again, sat back and listened to every bit of it. It gave me goosebumps, especially the very first part when he sings of losing his grandpa. Everyone remembers where they were or when they got the phone call that they lost a loved one. Then it moves onto first loves and how you grew apart and went separate ways. But it was completely about those we “loved along the way”. The song will relate to many if not all.

But it’s not just about the ones we “loved along the way” it’s about how they have helped to mold us into who we are today and it’s so very true. Family, friends, long lost lovers…they all have touched our lives one way or another. Some are a part of our story for as long as they live, a few for only short periods of times and others for as long as we live. Regardless they are part of who we are. Whether you know it or not they have helped you to grow, they have taught you a lesson, they may have even taught you to love. The past is part of who you are. I’m not saying you should repeat your past but I am saying don’t forget what got you to where you are today.

On the road of life, I’ve lost family members, I’ve had to see friends be laid to rest, have had broken friendships and have had my heartbroken and I know I’ve broken a heart or two as well. But in the wonderful lyrics of Eric Church, “And I hope they all know I never would’ve made it this far on my own…if not for those I’ve loved along the way” and to each and everyone of them, good or bad, happy ending or not so happy ending…thank you for helping me to be me.

Now go ahead take a moment and give it a listen, you know you want to.

A Simpler Time

e2d653471330b1e11bfab90f776e9bea

What it really means to wear a crown. Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with some lovely ladies who I was blessed with meeting when I was a teenager who did pageants. Yes, I did pageants and I LOVED them! Not because I wanted to be a beauty queen, but because I thought it would be a great way to meet new friends and I did meet new friends. New friends that have turned in to life long friendships.

Even when you don’t see a person for years it’s nice to know that you can meet up and pick up right where you left off. We laughed, we giggled like little school girls, remembered great friends lost, teared up a little and talked of a time that was simpler.

Our pageant videos were recorded on VHS, and have since been transferred to DVD’s, the quality isn’t the high quality of today’s videos but the memories are as precious now as they were then. Doesn’t matter where the technology advances next or how great it is, it’s the memories we make that we will cherish forever, that we should hold closest to our hearts.

This will age me again, but I don’t care. I remember life without cell phones, without DVD’s, without internet, no social media, no face time. I remember having conversations face to face or actually dialing a land line and talking to someone. If you wanted to get a letter to someone you hand wrote it and sent it in the mail. Your pictures were taken from a camera that wouldn’t let you see the picture so you took several hoping that maybe one or two (if you were lucky) turned out and then you put it away and enjoyed each others company.

b452c7e43805755de4cdd31b830f3e66

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

It breaks my heart looking around at times and seeing people together and no one is talking, their faces are buried in their phones. Don’t get me wrong I’m aware that I too can get guilty of that from time to time but I’ve really started to make an effort to put it away and enjoy who I’m with. The other stuff can wait.

Yes, pictures, video and social media is great but if you only see everything through them, then you never actually live the moment the way you should. The world is passing you by and you don’t even realize it.

I’m not saying that we should go back in time, but it would do us all well to remember a time that was a little simpler and enjoy the time we have on this earth with those we love, having adventures and making memories that aren’t plastered everywhere but are permanently in our minds to share the story and get together with new friends that have become life time friends and remember it all vividly without the help of technology.

I’ll never forget the day I was crowned Miss Becker County Fair 1998, it was deemed by the local paper “Megan’s Reign” as Jr. Miss Becker Country Fair 1998 was also Megan and together to this day we still remember all the stories, the laughs, the tears, the people there, the feeling, the memories. There were some video and some pictures but we experienced every second of it, and would not have changed any of it for all the technology in the world…it was a simpler time and if that ages me, I’m okay with that.

IMG_61161

The beautiful ladies of my pageants days!